Never a morning person, I find it difficult to rise at 6am no matter where I am. However, knowing that after the first cup of coffee sinks into my veins I will take a tender boat from the ship into the marina at Cabo San Lucas instead of the N train to Times square soothes my soul beyond measure.
My task, when the ship is in port, is to stand at the pier and be available to the guests for last minute questions for about an hour and a half upon arrival in every new port. We are only in the port of Cabo San Lucas from 7am – 2pm and the last tender back to the ship for crewmembers is at 1pm. Still, from 9:00 on the morning is mine to be out exploring this tropical playground! The beaches are incredible here, soft powdery sand with a backdrop of enormous caves and rock formations created naturally by the tides.
Shopping ops abound, enough so that it’s easy to become desensitized as to what is beautiful and unique, what is a bargain, and what is absolute crap. No one leaves Mexico without silver! I think it’s a law…you can buy it in the high-end jewelry shops, you can buy it at the local crafts market, you can buy it on the beach and they practically shove it into your hands on some street corners. Bargains are harder and harder to come by despite the relentlessness of some of the vendors, (For you Amiga, practically free, how much you wanna pay? Amiga? Ola…)
Another retail phenomenon in Mexico is the availability of prescription drugs without the prescription. Perfectly legal mind you, you can stop off at the corner drugstore and stuff your Tilma with every painkiller, anti-depressant, tranquilizer, and performance enhancer under the Equator sun. The last time I was in Cabo was about a year ago when I had just started with the company as Cruise Director. Suffering from crippling anxiety, I stopped off at the discount pharmacy next to the Hooters and picked up some Xanex. The Xanex took the edge off temporarily but the real cure came when I changed jobs. Trading in my stripes and house account in favor of this mellow gig saved my sanity.
Other big changes this season include the presence of armed in the streets. I suppose in light of recent drug related violence in Mexico the presence of the military is an added precaution. I didn’t find anything menacing about Cabo San Lucas. I found it to be joyful and utterly festive.
Speaking of festive, I saw a guest entertainer perform last night who was absolutely extraordinary. She just SANG! Really well…for about 50 minutes. No bla bla bla, no super shiny glitter gowns, no fedoras, no fur stoles, no oversized boas and no Judy Garland medleys sung in keys lower than the ones even Judy sang. This woman was a Broadway veteran who really has the goods. I was inspired by her performance but rendered maudlin nonetheless. I do miss singing for a living! I miss the lifestyle and I miss the physical sensation of performing on stage! I have been spending time with the musicians onboard and will start jobbing out some arrangements after the completion of this cruise. By then I will have this gig under my belt and will be able to concentrate on finding my way back to doing what I love the most.